Project Runway: NYFW Spring/Summer’14 Top 10!
Some things stayed the same, probably for the best such as Marchesa’s romantic fairytale dresses and Oscar de la Renta’s vintage pencil skirts and taffeta ball gowns. Other things evolved by taking more liberties, a perfect example being a slightly more androgynous flavor at Alexander Wang and BCBG Max Azria along with Vera Wang’s strategically constructed shapes using a fluid fabric medium. Rather than overt trends there was a liberating ‘play as you please’ air about the shows with no stifling restrictions that made each presentation independently great and therefore hard to narrow down to the top 10. In the end it was about which ones planted a memory and stayed strong to a signature rather than erratically dabbling about.
1. Carolina Herrera amazed with optical illusionary prints on sheers that came alive as they moved down the runway. A few of them made us feel dizzy even but it was a mesmerizing visual experience. The leather triangular patchwork was another interesting feature, breaking up the prints and adding structure but maintaining the sheer insets so that the overall effect was not too rigid.
2. Donna Karan drew us in with her drop waist leisurely dresses slung together casually with broad leather belts and boho with an edge prints. The woman is an absolute master at working a piece of fabric, anything she touches turns effortlessly perfect. Most of the outfits were fluid but it was a controlled fluidity that was key. Admittedly some of the pieces bordered on indulgent but that was forgivable in the larger scheme.
3. One of Kate Middleton’s ultimate favorite evening wear designers, we can completely understand the princess’s soft spot for Jenny Packham’s embellished sparkling creations. While Packham is known for her elegant beaded dresses, at NYFW she showed a bit more creativity with simpler soft silk bow tie necklines, high waist languid skirts, and pastels paired with brighter solids. She is the best girly designer in the spotlight at the moment who you can’t help but love.
4. Marchesa broke new ground by allowing itself a little more leeway to experiment with less than perfect on purpose silhouettes. The design house is loved for its heavenly fairytale designs on tulle and lace adorned with embroideries and drenched in embellishment. A floral detailed dress fell playfully free at the bottom and sensual strategic layering was empowered by uneven fringe accents. The collection held more weight than just pretty lace frocks.
5. Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) packed a punch with a safari inspired collection that was more than just zebra and orange blue savanna prints. The matching uniform printed tops and bottoms were bold and had an elongating effect that is characteristic of DVF’s empowering signature.
6. Vera Wang had some fun layering neutrals with cobalt, red, and yellow in mesh and gauze fabrics to create feminine but sporty dresses. It was a simple concept yet difficult to maneuver given the delicate medium she used to give that careless appearance which was in truth anything but.
Oscar de la Renta
7. We were glad to see Oscar de la Renta take it down a notch with at least half his collection focused on tapered, seriously smart skirt suits and dresses before the puffy silk numbers and florals took over. The navy and black with hints of white lace was an exciting aspect that we wish he had used more but it certainly did the trick.
8. Narciso Rodriguez won us over with the little things. The slight uneven pointed overlapping short skirts, the clean mix of burn out devore and slices of black. It seems the triangular folded geometric layering is starting a trend, witnessed at Victoria Beckham, Vera Wang, and here to name a few. His sharp sense of tailoring is worth a special mention in particular.
9. Our list would be incomplete without Naeem Khan whose universal ethnic touch makes him a favorite among celebrities for red carpet events. He showed endless brilliance with a Frieda Kahlo inspired collection featuring characteristic rich embroidered red and black roses on ultra feminine figuring hugging organza dresses, plenty of lush embellishments of which the detailing on the short box vests that accompanies the shorter full skirted dresses was our favorite.
BCBG Max Azria
10. BCBG Max Azria stayed strong to the composed insertion of floral prints within neutral blacks and white seen at their Resort 2014 showcase, except the prints were more colorful making them jump out more against the plain canvas. Crisp white blue cotton oversize shirt dresses with pockets made for statement day wear. It was fresh, clean, and liberating.
Stay tuned for the Best of London and Milan Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Weeks up next!